Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce – this restaurant-style enchilada sauce is simple and perfect to use for enchiladas, empanadas and even casseroles. You’ll never buy canned enchilada sauce again.
Use it for cheese enchiladas, empanadas or even some of your favorite Mexican casseroles – but once you go homemade you’ll never buy store bought again. This recipe is beyond simple!
Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
Have you ever made or had homemade red enchilada sauce? It seems like it might be a hard thing to do, but the recipe we are sharing today is simple and a family favorite. We use it for our Red Cheese Enchiladas and Beef Empanadas, and it’s phenomenal.
Yes, you can buy red enchilada sauce in the can, but it doesn’t compare to this homemade version. It takes just a few ingredients (ones we typically have on hand), and is made in under 20 minutes.
With the chili powder in this recipe, there is some spice, but you can change the amount of powder you used based on what your family likes. Also note that how much chili powder and which brand you use will determine the color of the sauce. Generic chili powders tend to be darker. And the more powder, the darker the sauce. 😉
How to Make red Enchilada Sauce
This sauce is so simple and delicious! Here are the ingredients needed to make it:
- chili powder (we prefer Gebhardt’s)
- garlic powder
- chicken broth
The sauce is made by adding oil to a pot and heating on medium heat. Pour in flour and create a roux by whisking together for 1-2 minutes.
Add chili powder, garlic powder, salt cumin and oregano and mix until clumpy. Pour in chicken broth, whisking the entire time and until there are no more clumps. Heat for about 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
TIP: You know the sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon well. If you see the picture below on the left, you can see that the sauce looks watery and doesn’t stick to the spoon. The picture on the right shows that the sauce is thick and sticks to the back of the wooden spoon showing that it’s ready.
making enchilada sauce ahead of time
Yes, we always do! In fact, I like to quadruple the batch of seasonings or even the sauce to use for later. For example, I will often combine the following ingredients and keep them in a jar in the cabinet:
- ¾ cup Gebhardt chili powder
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cumin
Then, when I’m making enchiladas, I’ll spoon out 3 heaping tablespoons of the mixture which is equivalent to about one batch. Makes for easy cooking.
How to store enchilada sauce?
The other thing I will do is quadruple the entire sauce recipe and then STORE the leftovers in a freezer-safe container in the freezer (which can last for up to 2 months). It can also be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Then, when I’m ready to make enchiladas I typically take out the sauce the day before and let it thaw overnight in the fridge. I think heat it up on the stove until it is smooth. If it’s too thick, you can add a little more chicken broth to thin it out.
Red enchilada Sauce uses:
We love to use this sauce in a few of our favorite recipes, including:
We sure love this sauce and hope you like it too! It’s definitely become a favorite and one we use for all of our cheese enchiladas.
For more Mexican recipes, check out:
Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp chili powder (we prefer Gebhardt's)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Add oil to a pot and heat on medium heat. Pour in flour and create a roux by whisking together for 1-2 minutes.
- Add chili powder, garlic powder, salt cumin and oregano and mix until clumpy.
- Pour in chicken broth, whisking the entire time and until there are no more clumps. Heat for about 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
- TIP: You know the sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon well. If you see the picture below on the left, you can see that the sauce looks watery and doesn't stick to the spoon. The picture on the right shows that the sauce is thick and sticks to the back of the wooden spoon showing that it's ready.